Is Biogas Eco-Friendly or Not?
With global warming and climate change on the rise, the world is looking for alternative sources of energy. One of the current options is biogas, which has been described as full of potential and eco-friendly. However, questions still lurk regarding whether it is really eco-friendly.
In Simple Terms
At face value, biogas is eco-friendly as it does not contribute to the CO2 in the air – CO2 has been described as the leading cause of climate change. Additionally, biogas is a renewable source of energy unlike natural gases and petroleum. However, considering other factors such as production and usage, biogas’ eco-friendliness depends.
The Means Matter, Not Just the End
Biogas is produced from decomposing organic matters. The main source of this gas is cow dung and excretions from a wide range of animals. If left to decompose, cow dung not only adds to the CO2 in the air but also breaks down into methane – methane has a worse effect in climate than CO2. However, if converted to biogas, cow dung gives up its methane which is then used as a source of energy, thus preventing it from polluting the environment.
Another source of biogas is plant matter. Suppose that people cultivate plants with the sole intention of harvesting biogas – they would need to use fertilizers which release carbon to the soil and air, thus contributing to pollution and climate change. Additionally, this would require the utilization of large tracts of land to accommodate these plants, and this would lead to destruction of other natural vegetation which plays a key role in absorbing CO2 from the air. Luckily, plants are not as popular as cow dung when it comes to producing biogas.
As such, as matters stand now, biogas is indeed eco-friendly and promises a lot of potential for a wide range of everyday energy requirements.